Survival at high altitudes – Part I

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Before this article is necessary to define what a polar or arctic region is. It is considered that a place is polar or arctic when the average temperature of the hot season does not exceed 10 º C and the sun does not rise in winter, or is just for a limited time span.

But a polar region is not the only place where care must be receipts for survival. There are passengers who travel less extreme conditions, or sites that appear to be safer such as a mountain, which may become the perfect scenario for a weather disaster.

Fundamental ground rules. The following are the basic rules that we will develop to survive in a polar region:
• Do not allow wet clothes we wear.
• Build a well-insulated shelter.
• Stay in constant motion to produce body heat.
• Stay hydrated.
• If possible, make a campfire.

In case of emergencies. It is very important to know what steps to take before an emergency, but more importantly, implement them. Then, step by step:

1. Move away from danger: In a situation of high risk, the most important thing is to get away as much as possible of the danger zone.

2. Wounds: Healing the wounds immediately, in the event that any.

3. In a state of panic: In the case of being in a state of panic, you should always try to dominate the situation and come to orient themselves and to understand what happens. Take time to this point and relax.

4. Find a shelter: The worst difficulty is the polar regions are suffering from exposure to weather agents. Always keep the wind, as this may cause a significant decrease in body temperature. If no space that can be helpful as a refuge, it is best to try to build one by a mound of snow, a well or a cave.

5. Hydration: Hydration in any situation is critical. In this kind of cold, dry places is vital hidradato maintained at all times, and rarely is aware of transpiration, because the atmosphere absorbs body moisture away. (See Board of Hydration in the High Mountain).

6. Planning: Once the above key needs covered, it’s time to discuss whether to stay on the site waiting for help or run away as fast as possible in the area.

“Move or not move? That is the question … Decide whether to move or stay sheltered waiting for help is a tough decision depending on the personality of each person and the following items.

Reasons for not moving the site:

It is likely that someone will come to your aid.

- The weather, soil formation and other phenomena can make you fall into a crevasse or chasm and / or that you fill in impassable regions as a tundra or marsh landscapes typical of these regions.
- If visibility is very poor.
- If you have no topographic or GPS to identify your position on the ground.
- If the sun is setting.

Reasons not to move the site:

It is essential that you prepare some signs of distress. Go in search of supplies and necessary items.

- Stop signs indicating which direction you are moving, such as arrows or marks on the road. If you have an object that produces a reflection, place it over your head or shoulders so that the air relief to see you more easily.

- Calculate time well before nightfall, because a shelter can take half an hour to 4 hours to complete. Once you’ve stopped at a fixed site, made a fire and keep burning all night.

How to maintain the body heat? Mainly to keep warm is the point where the body loses more heat. These are: the head, neck, wrists, hands, ankles and feet.

If you are suffering a lot of heat because of your move, you should try to lower body temperature. Note that it is vital to reduce the sweating the most, because otherwise your clothes might get wet, exposing a greater risk. The best way to regulate the temperature by removing the cover of your head. In these cases it is better to wear cotton and not synthetic.

Avoid contact with the wind and soil. Always care and sit on some insulating material. If your body is cooled rapidly, do some abdominal exercises and jogging in place.

It cannot fall asleep, because in this state the body temperature down to relax and consume less energy.

Note that if you are within your means, make a fire is the best option, although keep in mind the consequences, because many times can complicate your situation.

Come back tomorrow for part two… Survival at high altitudes – Part II

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